On Friday, Charlotte Bobcats forward/center Byron Mullens was updated to a game-time decision for Saturday’s contest against the Houston Rockets. Though Mullens has been maligned for his decision making when he was on the floor early in the season, his return will be a great relief.
Without Mullens in the lineup, the Bobcats have struggled to get much offensive production in the post as guys like Jeff Adrien, Hakim Warrick, Bismack Biyombo and Brendan Haywood don’t really possess much offensive prowess and are inconsistent scorers at best.
In the 27 games that Mullens played to start the season, he averaged 11.6 points per game, the highest average by any non-guard for Charlotte. He also led the team in rebounding at 7.8 boards per game.
The problem with Mullens has always been his shot selection and his efficiency. He shot only 37.1 percent from the field and 30.3 percent from long-range, despite taking 4.5 three-point attempts per game and 11.9 attempts from the field per game.
But even with his problems with scoring efficiently, there’s no denying that Mullens has the most potent offensive game of any of the Bobcats’ post-players, even though that’s not saying a whole lot. With his return looming in the near future, the ideal situation would be that he takes at least some of the scoring load off of the guards for Charlotte.
He’s not yet been medically cleared to play, but that’s expected to come sooner rather than later. And when he does return, he has to be able to put the ball in the hole and fill up the stat sheet.
This isn’t saying that he is going to dramatically change the landscape of this team and transform them into an unstoppable force. However, it is saying that it could make this team better by balancing their offense and forcing the defense to focus on more than just the Bobcats guards.
Charlotte is only 4-14 without Mullens in the lineup and have really struggled offensively without him providing offense, no matter how inefficient, in the post. His return will most likely leave the Bobcats being competitive in more games. So for Charlotte’s sake, hopefully he will be back on the floor in the next couple of days.